All Stories, Fantasy, Horror

Byrd’s Syndrome by Dave Henson

Dr. Simmons studies the results of our daughter’s blood tests. “Mr. and Mrs. Jacobsen, I’ll get right to it.” Glenna leans forward. I try to squint away the words I don’t want to hear. “Your daughter has Byrd’s Syndrome.”

The weight of his diagnosis lands on my chest. My wife gasps.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Lee by Cooper Woodham

Lee woke on a Monday. His hands shook while he tried brushing his teeth. He cursed silently and intellectually and sat. He cursed the thought of never being able to sit still for his constant hand-shaking. His heart could not rest, nor his mind. He sat and thought while he shook in silence with the sound of the shaking and the sound of his furious shaking-mind always turning and never resting. He thought about how he would shake all week and wake up the next Monday with the same pain-frustration and mind-shaking and unrelenting body-shaking. Thoughts of living another week in shaking and another week without stillness of body or mind or soul. Thoughts of another week of doctor visits and medication. Thoughts of careless curse-smiles and unanswered questions and unease. Lee despised the thought of next Monday.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Phantom Pain by T D Calvin

My appointment is at twenty past eight.  I stand waiting outside the surgery at half seven – when the receptionist opens the main door she fires me the same kind of look she would to a drunk or an addict but I pay no attention.  In the waiting room I flick through an abandoned copy of the Observer and enjoy the sensation of being the only person here, the only person Doctor Matheson is preparing to see.  I like to book the earliest appointment she has on any given day – I like the thought of being first on her list of priorities.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Annie’s Shoes by Donna Aversa

The remarkable thing about catalogues is that Annie could lose herself in the glossy possibilities of the pages. She could pretend that her body, swollen by the side-effects of the steroid treatments, once again could wear the same styles that the impeccably tailored models did. And that she had someplace to wear them. The brunette in the cardinal-red cashmere-blend twin-set with three-quarter sleeves didn’t judge. She had a half-smile that welcomed anyone, even Annie, to copy her look. The paisley scarf is available on page 27 where inset photos show just how to wrap it in three simple steps. The classic black pointed toe pumps are on page 56.

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